North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper says he's still hopeful that he and Republican lawmakers can hammer out a state budget that he can sign into law. The Democratic governor made the comments Wednesday during a COVID-19 news conference. Budget negotiations began a month ago when House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate leader Phil Berger sent Cooper their first offer on a two-year spending plan. The fiscal year began July 1. The governor declined to put a timetable on completing negotiations. Moore suggested they could end next week, with or without a deal. That would raise the possibility of a Cooper veto and override attempt.